San Jose’s Modest Art Deco Treasure

photo by Bernardo Grijalva

Hotel De Anza

Mostly nestled by a panorama of shiny new, glass facades. The modest sized Art Deco Hotel was certainly a glitzy tower amongst the semi rural and up and coming area of downtown San Jose, CA. Designed by W.H. Weeks and built a few years prior to what would be one of our country’s darkest economic times, it’s somewhat ironic to think of all of the residential buildings that were built in the same area not to long ago, some 80 years later, perhaps during our countries second economic depression. It’s somewhat puzzling how these speculative waves work but, what is certain, is that great efforts go into buildings and great works come to fruition when there is some sort of speculative motive.

I photographed this building time and time again. It’s somewhat modest in comparison to other Art Deco buildings that can be found through out some of the larger cities. It’s also somewhat conservative in it’s presentation, despite being typified with the Art Deco or Moderne style that stood for all things modern, streamlined and in their use of the human form to celebrate our modern achievements, the Hotel De Anza celebrates the leader of a Spanish expedition party. Taking into mind my mestizo heritage and slight biased perspective as to what made our bountiful valley great, the Hotel De Anza is very much a part of the downtown San Jose’s Landscape and a through back in time when anybody who was anybody would want to go uptown.

Hotel De Anza is listed on the National Register of Historic Places


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